Round-the-clock RTGS from December 14

Representational Photo

The Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) for high-value transactions will be available round-the-clock on all days from 00:30 hours of December 14, making India one of the few countries to operate the system 24×7.

In October, the RBI had announced that RTGS will be available round-the-clock on all days of the year.

“Accordingly, RTGS 24x7x365 will be launched with effect from 00:30 hours on December 14, 2020,” the central bank said in a statement.

The RBI said India will become one of the few countries in the world to operate its RTGS system round-the-clock throughout the year.

This comes within a year of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) operationalising NEFT 24×7. NEFT is the popular mode for small-value transactions.

RTGS, which started on March 26, 2004 with a soft launch involving four banks, presently handles 6.35 lakh transactions daily for a value of Rs 4.17 lakh crore across 237 participant banks.

The average ticket size for RTGS in November 2020 was Rs 57.96 lakh, making it a truly large-value payment system.

RTGS uses ISO 20022 format which is the best-in-class messaging standard for financial transactions. The feature of positive confirmation for credit to beneficiary accounts is also available in RTGS.

“Round the clock availability of RTGS will provide extended flexibility to businesses for effecting payments and will enable introduction of additional settlement cycles in ancillary payment systems.

“This can also be leveraged to enhance operations of Indian financial markets and cross-border payments,” the RBI said.

Earlier, the RBI had decided not to levy charges on transactions through NEFT and RTGS in order to promote digital transactions, and had asked banks to pass on the benefits to customers.

The RBI used to levy minimum charges on banks for transactions routed through RTGS and NEFT. Banks, in turn, levied charges on their customers.

RTGS is meant for large-value instantaneous fund transfers, while NEFT is used for fund transfers of up to Rs 2 lakh.